Sunday, June 17, 2007
After getting a ride yesterday from the trail head to Franklin, I stayed at a motel managed by an ex-Army man who suffers severely from Agent Orange; the VA is taking care of him. While in the lobby, I talked to one of the guests who was gem hunting while here, and I told him what we are doing. I saw him again later and he gave me information to get hold of his daughter who is a news caster. Boy there sure are no accidents.
I went to get a loaf of bread to take with me in the wood (been getting into sandwiches). While waiting in line, I noticed a tattoo on the man in front of me and made a comment (which could have gone a number of ways - thank God it was Sunday). We talked a little bit and the cashier chimed in because she was from Florida (his tattoo was about Florida State University). After he left, she said she didn't like tattoos, but had 2. One was of a bronze star; that is when I told her what we are doing. She said she just got goose bumps because her son had suffered with PTSD for 4yrs after getting out. She thanked me.
Some day I will be able to write in such a way that you can feel what I feel when I talk to these mothers and fathers. To see that look in their face, that shift or vacant stare that comes as they go back in their mind to when it happened. To see them go rigid then limp like their life had just been drained out as they relive those terrible events. Events that have changed their lives forever, ones that cold people or ones in denial say "just get over it". How do I get over something if I don't know how? Who will help?
Monday, June 18, 2007
Got some press from Franklin Herald and Smoky Mt. Herald; got lunch after getting fruit from a farmers market which they gave to me because of what we are doing. My stomach is upset. I will stop into a health food store and get something for it (about 3 days away). ONly did 3.7 miles to make it to the closest shelter due to rain and thunder.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Another wet day, I sprained my ankle stepping wrong and another night of lightening and thunder. Met a Marine Biologist (retired) working for 4yrs on a reference manual about all the aqua life in the Gulf of Mexico. He and all the writers (80) are doing it for no pay, just to help further science. Those are the kind of people you don't hear about that make a difference, also a young man going into the Peace Corps.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Made it into Hiawassee, GA and stayed with Mary Ann and Al. She was a childhood friend; our fathers were childhood friends. We hadn't seen one another for almost 30yrs. It is amazing to me time doesn't change friendship (it sure changes looks); to me she looked like her mother and to her I looked like my father.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Spending a zero day with Mary Ann and Al, did an interview for the paper and got medicine for parasites at the health food store. I have lost 26 pounds - I weigh 154 pounds now, don't want to lose anymore. I have 76 miles to go.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Talked to Al before he left for work, he was wearing a red uniform. He said every friday he and all his help wear red for the red-blooded Americans who serve their country and whose red blood is spilled for us. They will continue to do so (wear red) until the troops come home. It doesn't seem like much but what am I doing, what statement am I making?
Met a Virginia Tech student on the trail studying political science. He's not certain that's what he wants to do. I think when politicians throw mud during their campaign, they get some on themselves. It seems to make them all look dirty and not be the honorable job it once seemed to be. I think that list of people who you don't trust have dropped below used car salesmen. No wonder that student is having doubts about a future in politics.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The stuff I am talking for parasites seems to work. My stomach feels better but I seem to have gotten weaker because of the weight loss. Met an ex-Marine and his girlfriend. He was carrying both their gear. I was impressed. He took down our web site as well as another Marine in during the Cuba conflict - his boys are in now.